Counting underway for UP Panchayat Election; final results likely to declared by today afternoon

On Monday, the counting of votes entered the second day for the crucial Uttar Pradesh panchayat elections.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the State Election Commission (SEC) said according to information about poll results pouring in from different parts of the state, over 1.12 lakh have emerged victorious for the post of members of the village panchayat, 16,510 have won the post of Pradhan of the village panchayat, while 35,812 candidates have claimed victory on the post of members of kshetra panchayats.

"Counting is going on peacefully, and final results are likely to come by tomorrow (Monday) afternoon," the SEC said.

According to reports, BJP is in the driving seat as vote counting entered the second day. In the zila panchayat election, BJP has won in more than 800 wards out of 3050 in the state. The party hopes that a BJP board will be formed in all the 75 Zila panchayats of the state.

Meanwhile, political parties like AAP and AIMIM have made a debut in the panchayat elections this time, apart from major players like BJP, BSP, Congress and Samajwadi Party, to test the waters for the next year's Assembly elections in the state.

The vote counting process started a day after the Supreme Court granted permission to it, emphasising COVID-19 protocols are followed during the process. However, disturbing visuals surfaced on social media showing COVID-19 rules flouted at various counting centres in Uttar Pradesh.

On Sunday, there were scuffles involving the supporters of candidates in three districts and social distancing to fight the spread of coronavirus went for a toss at several places, reports said.

Over three lakh candidates were declared elected unopposed by the SEC, shortly before the counting began.

Eight polling agents were turned away from the counting centre in Kannauj's Chhibramau tehsil after they tested positive for the coronavirus in Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs).

Meanwhile, 61 counting agents at 10 blocks in Kanpur Nagar district have tested positive for COVID-19 till late on Sunday.

Over 2,000 counting agents had undergone RATs on Sunday after the SEC issued instructions that they would be allowed to enter the counting centres only if they produce a negative RT-PCR or RAT report or have taken both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, said Dr AK Singh, a nodal medical officer.

"Sixty-one agents tested positive for COVID-19 during rapid antigen tests being conducted at the entrance points at all the counting centres," Singh told PTI, adding that a total of 2,037 RATs were conducted.

(With inputs from PTI)

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